stropping compound question

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since a while i'm working on a small pocket sharpening kit -- so far it consists of a 4" x 2" 600grit diamond stone (a gift from a friend when he took some break from working on "rick& morty" in 2018) houses in a small hardwood box with 1200grit sandpaper glued to one side. i'm thinking about glueing a piece of leather (reminder from my last visit to the centre point of the universe in 2013) to the other side as a small stropping pad: what would work as a homemade stropping compound?!

also: what's better -- smooth side ( outside) or inside (fluffy side) of leather as working surface?!

thanks!
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
1200 (carborundum? ) grit is not enough, imo.
Go 1500 then 2000, if you can find it easily. Usually that is good enough, but if you want to use your knife to shave with AND use as a mirror, use the ROUGH side of the leather.
Autosol is good.
To be frank, I use a paste meant for Aluminium and a cotton wheel, then leather WITHOUT a paste.
If Irun out, a household cream for copper and brass polishing.

Many ways to skin a cat! ( maybe better to say 'rabbit' on this site? :) )
 

C_Claycomb

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Oct 6, 2003
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How home-made do you want your stropping compound to be? I would expect it to be easier to get metal polish than some of the fine powders that are used in such polish. If you are just picking stuff up in the environment...well, if you have the right kind of sedimentary rock around you could grind two together to get slurry that when dried might work to powder your strop.
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I saw a guy on YourTube, he made a wheel out of a bunch of compressed sides of boxes ( cardboard) and it worked very well. Cardboard contains some kind of inorganic compound, finely pulverized, that act as polishing compound.
I tried it and the only negative is the time to make the wheel.

edit: Kaolin? Is that what they add during the paper making? It is some sort of clay.
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
Kaolin is a fine clay coating for papers so you see high resolution, very crisp printing, images in particular.
It isn't hard enough to be abrasive to metals.

White aluminum oxide is about 0.25 micron, a good honing compound.
Chromium oxide is green and about 0.5 micron nominal particle size =
I use a lot of those two mixed for my wood carving tool edges.

Iron oxides (rusts) are harder than steels and make OK honing compounds.
Bash up a whole lot of very rusty food cans and mix with water.
The very last fines to settle out last, on top, of the rest ought to be OK for honing.

Brasso and Autosol have good reputations if you want standards to match your found materials.
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Kaolin is a fine clay coating for papers so you see high resolution, very crisp printing, images in particular.
It isn't hard enough to be abrasive to metals.

White aluminum oxide is about 0.25 micron, a good honing compound.
Chromium oxide is green and about 0.5 micron nominal particle size =
I use a lot of those two mixed for my wood carving tool edges.

Iron oxides (rusts) are harder than steels and make OK honing compounds.
Bash up a whole lot of very rusty food cans and mix with water.
The very last fines to settle out last, on top, of the rest ought to be OK for honing.

Brasso and Autosol have good reputations if you want standards to match your found materials.
I am now in the process of Polishing up ( tarting up wife says) a pair of WW2 era trench telescopes.
Each part is of a different alloy, three different red alloys ( Bronze?) and at least 2 different Yellow alloys ( brass?).
I use a compound for polishing the gel coat on boats as a final polish, before lacquering.
I think even a softer ompound can 'strip' the tops of the micro scratches.

Most toothpastes have a Silica compound in. Some have Baking Soda. Both are softer than many metals, but still polish well. Even hardened steel.
I do not know why or how.
 
thanks for all the replies:geek:

reason i went with 600/1200 grit is as far as i know that's the grits on the Fallkniven DC 4 stone, but changing to a finer grit sandpaper would be possible if needed.
"sharpening 'tools' " here means "lima chuchillo" (basically an oversized chakmak- useless for my needs as you need to sharpen them first...) and crappy carborundum stones:(:confused: and -as already mentioned- buying stuff online is expensive here:aarghh: hence my interest in homemade solutions...

i know someone who has a metal workshop, might take a while before i see him next time but maybe he has some metal polishing compound... .if iron oxide works, too i'll keep an eye open next time i'm "going to church" (==the jungle)for this rusty brown lumps of soil (i believe "bog iron" is the correct term and see how that works, somewhere i read about somebody using charcoal as an abrasive compound --- i'll try both on old kitchen knives first to see what happens:finger:


and around me you can skin as many cats:cussing::rage: as you like given their impact on Australian:emoji_flag_au: wildlife and some recent experiences with an especially annoying specimen:mad:
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Granddad had a way to polish the working parts and inside the barrels of his machine guns ( at the end he was a CO of a machine gun company in WW1) and that was using tobacco ask mixed with urine into a paste.
I guess Ammonia was what was the active ingredient.
Oil after a water rinse and dry.
Ash is a very fine powder if amongs others, minerals.

But, hand on heart, is not a grit of 2000 wet@dry enough for working knife?
I only mirror polish the knives I make and never use. Working knives are sharp but not glossy.
 
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Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
Local automotive paint finishing supply houses should have everything you need.
What looks "shiny" and"polished" is covered with scratches so fine you can't see them without a 10X magnifier.

I was taught freehand sharpening for wood carving tools. Paint the bevel with black felt marker so you can follow what you do.
I climb through 600 then 800 then 1000 then 1200 then 1500 grit.
Scanning electron microscope images show there is no reason to go beyond that. What ever steel. No reason.
Then hone on a strop with AlOx/CrOx (suspended in a waxy carrier of some kind.) The strop can be any hard smooth surface.
Justscribble all overit with a stick of honingcompound . Same physical body movements.

For all the adze blades which have a bit of a sweep to them, I use a tennis ball as a strop.
 

Robbi

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Mar 1, 2009
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northern ireland
Local automotive paint finishing supply houses should have everything you need.
What looks "shiny" and"polished" is covered with scratches so fine you can't see them without a 10X magnifier.

I was taught freehand sharpening for wood carving tools. Paint the bevel with black felt marker so you can follow what you do.
I climb through 600 then 800 then 1000 then 1200 then 1500 grit.
Scanning electron microscope images show there is no reason to go beyond that. What ever steel. No reason.
Then hone on a strop with AlOx/CrOx (suspended in a waxy carrier of some kind.) The strop can be any hard smooth surface.
Justscribble all overit with a stick of honingcompound . Same physical body movements.

For all the adze blades which have a bit of a sweep to them, I use a tennis ball as a strop.

useful in the jungle......... Hahahahahaha !
 

Nice65

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Apr 16, 2009
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Robbi suggested toothpaste. I hadn’t realised your location, toothpaste is a good call. The whitening brands tend to be more gritty.
 
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Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
He lives in the jungle?

For outdoor use, you can get one of those polishing ceramic stones.

Some, if not most, Dental hygienists use them to finish their instruments.
One type is flat, about 2 cm x 4 cm or thereabouts.